A few things to bear in mind when cooking:
- What you put in is what you get out. The best quality ingredients you can afford will give you the best end result in terms of taste, nutrition and visual appeal.
- You will have failures – accept it now or get out of the kitchen. You don’t have to advertise them though. Experimenting is fun and some of the best recipes come from trying to create something else, but if you’re cooking food for a dinner party or as a gift for someone else, and time is of the essence, it’s best to pick a menu you’ve successfully served up before.
- Cooking (the way I do it anyway) is not usually an exact science. Unless I’m cooking something that requires exact quantities (sometimes this is the case with baking), I generally just use however much of an ingredient I feel like and/or have in the fridge. So when following my recipes and finding vague quantities, cook to your own taste e.g. if you like cucumber, you may want to add more of it to your salad.
- Multiply or divide the recipe quantities depending on how many people you are serving. Many of my recipes are based on serving 1 person (check the one you are using though as they do differ), so if you are serving 2, 3 or more, multiply the quantities as necessary.
- When substituting, adding or subtracting ingredients, take the time beforehand to imagine what your dish will taste like with the changes, and how it will affect the texture. Sometimes you can’t substitute ingredients and you need to know when that is the case.
- Cooking gives you the most fulfilment when you give it time and attention. That doesn’t mean every meal has to take hours, but you’ll find that if you focus completely on your food while you’re cooking, whether it takes 5 minutes or 3 hours, it will be more of a healing activity for you, as well as tasting different to the way it would if you were watching television at the same time.
- Your state of being affects your cooking, infusing it with an invisible energy – for better or worse. If you’ve read the book or seen the movie Like Water for Chocolate, you will know what I mean when I say this. If you haven’t, I would really recommend it. Not only is it an awesome love story, but it also describes how our state of mind and heart when we are preparing food has a huge impact on the finished product, and hence on those eating it.